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"So I lost the baby, but I totally got the last Wii."
November 28, 2008 7:45 AM   Subscribe

SighFilter: In light of other Black Friday tales of horror or posts urging a more sober consumerism, now comes this story of a worker trampled to death at Wal-Mart and a woman who miscarried in a stampede. They ought to have read FEMA's Black Friday Advisory.
posted by resurrexit (135 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
That reminds me. I haven't heard much about Buy Nothing Day this year.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:52 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm at home, eating donuts from the local bakery. There was no line at the door, they gave me a free loaf of bread for turkey sandwiches....

Only idiots shop today....
posted by HuronBob at 7:57 AM on November 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


And humans think they're at the top of the animal kingdom.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 7:59 AM on November 28, 2008


"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible."

Yeah, that's pretty much what I said when I read "Wife is pregnant with Retarded Siamese Triplets." And upon hearing my dad's racist jokes at the dinner table last night.

The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?
posted by giraffe at 8:01 AM on November 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


The trampled worker is a real tragedy, but the miscarriage... well, if it doesn't occur to you that Wal-Mart on black Friday is maybe not the best place for your unborn child, maybe you're not ready to be a parent. Which isn't to say that it's not sad, but come on.

There were people camped out--with tents!--in front of Best Buy when I drove past at 4:30pm yesterday. I just don't get it.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:03 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:05 AM on November 28, 2008


This post's title is pretty insensitive. The poor women wanted a bargain, not a miscarriage. She's the victim; there's no evidence that she callously tried to continue shopping after losing her baby.
posted by orthogonality at 8:05 AM on November 28, 2008 [16 favorites]


Misanthropy ... recharging ... power levels ... coming back
posted by adipocere at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


If you fall down in fucking mosh pit people will stop to pick you up.

Maybe later tonight those on Metafilter who help cause this problem will be back to read this thread: CUT THIS SHIT OUT.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:14 AM on November 28, 2008


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?

Elks would make jokes about retarded siamese triplets if they knew what they were.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:18 AM on November 28, 2008


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?
posted by giraffe at 4:01 PM on November 28 [+] [!]

You already had your turn -- get to the back of the queue (or since it's today, better to just stay home altogether, it would seem).
posted by Drexen at 8:22 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's heartwarming to see Americans take their patriotic duty so seriously.
posted by Floydd at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Crap
posted by wheelieman at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2008


I can proudly say that I do not participate in Black Friday. I buy my Christmas gifts on December 24th, just like everyone else who's intellectually short-sighted.
posted by Pseudology at 8:26 AM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


I have already bought all my presents. Thank you Burger King gift certificate books!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 AM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


Am I missing something? I see mention of a pregnant woman that was knocked down and is now in hospital for observation but no mention of a miscarriage. uncleozzy's idea that pregnant women should stay home for nine months and avoid any shopping or crowds seems a bit ... odd.
posted by saucysault at 8:40 AM on November 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


The article says the pregnant woman who was knocked down was hospitalized for observation, but there's presently no mention of her having a miscarriage. Several other blogs say that she did, but they all link back the the NY Daily. What gives?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:43 AM on November 28, 2008


Wal-Mart on black Friday isn't shopping, it's a mosh pit. I do believe that pregnant women should avoid mosh pits.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:43 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


And yes, shitty title.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I missing something?

I recall there was a line saying something to the effect that doctors couldn't do anything for her, implying that she had miscarried, but it seems to have been edited out.
posted by giraffe at 8:45 AM on November 28, 2008


MSNBC: "Pregnant woman also knocked down, might have had miscarriage...Unconfirmed reports said a pregnant woman also miscarried as the crowd rushed in."
posted by ericb at 8:45 AM on November 28, 2008


Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.

That's cold.
posted by chugg at 8:49 AM on November 28, 2008


I only ever read the NYDN for Knicks news (where the definition of news is stretched to the limit - yes you, Mitch Lawrence) and the comments are bad enough there, but this story's comments take it to another level. And not a good way like in computer games.
posted by i_cola at 8:51 AM on November 28, 2008


I had to be at work, and my time/comfort is worth more than I could possibly save by participating in that madness, anyway. My wife just stayed up late to check the Amazon deals. We might venture out this evening just to get out of the house, since the doorbuster craziness will have been long finished. We'll just have to deal with the normal craziness, then.
posted by owtytrof at 8:56 AM on November 28, 2008


uncleozzy's idea that pregnant women should stay home for nine months and avoid any shopping or crowds seems a bit ... odd.

shopping:Black Friday at Wal*Mart::driving:demolition derby
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:56 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


*blech* I wasn't excited about the fact that I had to work at 6am this morning (from where I type this now) and that I'm stuck here until 5pm, but I'm glad I won't have to see any of this stuff today.
P.s. The Wii.... sucks. I have two of them. Besides a total of about 4 games, the system blows. Different, original, ground-breaking - sure. Too bad all the games are either too easy, too ugly, or just plain too stupid to waste time on. NERFGUN WARS?! NERFDERF!
posted by Bageena at 8:57 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a bit ironic, IMO, that there are people who want to ban movies and video games because of simulated violence who seem to be silent about the *actual* violence that happens *every year* on Black Friday.

Personally, I think the stores (at the management and corporate levels) should be held responsible for deaths and injuries caused by these stampedes. They own the property, but allow people to camp outside. They encourage the behavior with their ads stating, "ONE DAY ONLY!!!" They give their employees no training in crowd control. It seems that every step of the way, they encourage the problem and do nothing to eliminate it. They're culpable.

And I'm not saying that the consumers who participate are completely without blame; just that the stores encourage the behavior and take no responsibility for their own hand.
posted by vertigo25 at 8:58 AM on November 28, 2008 [11 favorites]


well, everyone desperately needs the discounted and purchased items (since due to the recession they can't afford to NOT come in today) as the way to show that they truly love those other members of their family.

Nothing says I am grateful on christmas morning more than a 40" Plasma HDTV. Especially one that you had to trample someone to death to get.

We are in the last throws of the addiction to consumer credit. The years of cultural reinforcement that buying is better than making, that things consumed make your life complete, still exist. Just now the dealers aren't extending the lines of credit like they used too, so the addicts are getting more desperate. The cravings will grow stronger before they get weaker, but the fix will be harder to find.

written from an office building above a mall, that is not as frantic as it should be for a 'healthy' black friday.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:59 AM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


The trampled worker is a real tragedy, but the miscarriage...

Yeah, as soon as I'm more than 2 months pregnant I'll make a point in not going to any games, not going to any fairs, gigs or supermarkets on a saturday for that matter, yeah?

Jesus flippin' christ.
posted by Sijeka at 9:02 AM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


/me throes up.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:03 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


$
posted by fleetmouse at 9:05 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Before we even discuss blame, I just have to ask. I'm 6,3 and 270lbs. I can plough through a crowd of people rather forcefully if neccessary. If someone fell in front of me I'd stop and help them up. But what if you're a woman who's 5ft 120lbs? If you tried to stop in a stampede, you'd get pushed over yourself and then there would be two victims instead of one, which would detract from the rescue efforts of the original victim. Only a few people in that mob would have had an opportunity to help and, in this case, I'll bet they just didn't think fast enough and were already pushed past the clerk by the time they realized someone was being trampled.

Before police shut down the store, eager shoppers streamed past emergency crews as they worked furiously to save the store clerk's life.

That's cold.
posted by chugg at 8:49 AM on November 28 [+] [!]


When the paramedics arrive, the only people who are in positions to stop and help are nurses and doctors. Everyone else should just stay out of the way. They may as well have been shopping. It's better than circling around the scene and just watching.
posted by Pseudology at 9:05 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by limeonaire at 9:07 AM on November 28, 2008


I am of the opinion that stores should hire some big burly men to work the doors on Black Friday. Hell, pay some local club bouncers $200 to come man the doors for one day.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:07 AM on November 28, 2008


This is really terrible. It's not an employee's fault that he had to work on Black Friday. In retail, I'm sure it's pretty much expected.
posted by lunit at 9:07 AM on November 28, 2008


I'll make a point in not going to any games, not going to any fairs, gigs or supermarkets on a saturday for that matter, yeah?

I think you fail to understand what these stores look like at opening. Every year. It's not a crowded store, it's not a concert. It's an unruly mob; it's a riot. Nobody is going to help you up or give you space if you stumble when the crowd surges. It's a crime that stores let it get to this point, but that's where it is.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:07 AM on November 28, 2008


Don't worry. It's not just in the US. IKEA opening in Edmonton, London with a 4-6,000-strong riot.
posted by i_cola at 9:11 AM on November 28, 2008


I only went out on Black Friday once in my life. It was with a friend who wanted to buy something. I think it was a lap top? Anyways we stood in freezing weather for about 4 hours before they would open the doors. As soon as they opened them up the first few "customers" took all of the coupons for cheaper deals on everything. They then walked down the line of people selling pieces of paper to people. I was pissed off to say the least. After that I didn't solely blame the assholes that took everything, I blamed the companies and the stores. Materialistic greed that's all it is. OOOHHHH I can save 100 bucks on something that someone doesn't really need in the first place. If a business is willing to part with something for a certain price they will do it again and again until it sells. People don't need to bust down doors and trample people to death to save a few bucks. Then as always you hear people giving shoppers a guilt trip afterwards... "Our numbers are down, WAAAAH we didn't sell enough!" But yet everyone is being selfish here during a season of giving. Businesses only want money. People only want useless gifts. I only wanted to tell my bahumbug story about being screwed over during Black Friday. Well I now have a new one to tell why I don't shop or support this day.... 2 reported lives were lost today and almost everyone who was shopping did not care. Tis the season to care only about yourselves. Merry Christmas....
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:12 AM on November 28, 2008


Yes, the post title about the "last Wii" was in poor taste.

How do you know these people weren't stampeding to buy albums by Pearl Jam and The Who?
posted by Tube at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2008


I hope the cheap Blu-Ray players (or whatever) were worth it for the people who stepped on that poor guy.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:24 AM on November 28, 2008


I wouldn't dump on humanity too hard over this. I once watched three pigeons fight a seagull over an entire hot dog bun for twenty minutes. On the other hand, none of them died*...and you need food (as opposed to a flatscreen TV) to live...okay, go back to dumping on humanity.


* it was a draw; in the end the bun got ripped into several pieces over the course of the battle and they all took off with some of it
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 9:33 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


anyone know where jonmc works?
posted by msconduct at 9:34 AM on November 28, 2008


I am going to the grocery store later. Does that count?
posted by Samizdata at 9:37 AM on November 28, 2008


Am I missing something? I see mention of a pregnant woman that was knocked down and is now in hospital for observation but no mention of a miscarriage

When I read the Daily News link this morning they did report the miscarriage, and had some eyewitness say that the paramedics said that the "baby was lost". It looks like the News has changed the story in the last few hours.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:44 AM on November 28, 2008


I once watched three pigeons fight a seagull over an entire hot dog...

I saw a seagull get smacked by a car because it was more interested in the chips (fries) someone had dropped in the road rather than the ton of metal heading for it. Made a hell of a bang and it looked like a pillow fight for a few seconds.
posted by i_cola at 9:48 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


The title of this thread is just so uncalled for and so tasteless. Pregnant women have a lot of things to buy in preparation for their babies, as well as maternity clothes for themselves.

Wal-Mart on black Friday isn't shopping, it's a mosh pit.

Wal-Mart is generally such a horrible place to shop that it really reinforces my decision to not shop there for ethical reasons. Ugly crap everywhere. Crowds. People screaming at their kids. Huge lineups of people buying carts stuffed full of stuff, and no express check out so I can quickly buy my one or two items. That one or two times a year I go there, I feel duly punished.
posted by orange swan at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2008


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?
posted by giraffe
eponysterical ?
posted by Bitter soylent at 9:53 AM on November 28, 2008


From the Article: "Early witness accounts that the woman suffered a miscarriage were unfounded, police said."

there was no comment on whether or not she got the last wii though.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 9:55 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


The title of this thread is just so uncalled for and so tasteless. Pregnant women have a lot of things to buy in preparation for their babies, as well as maternity clothes for themselves.

It's a painfully obvious joke that makes a mockery of the people who don't seem to care about anything but shopping.

You must love Howard Stern. Whoosh.
posted by Zambrano at 9:57 AM on November 28, 2008


Don't worry. It's not just in the US. IKEA opening in Edmonton, London with a 4-6,000-strong riot.

Having walked to that store, it's the area.

It's like a fucking warzone. Dystopian future, huge highways, 30 foot security walls with a neighborhood behind it with portcullis and an "airlock" style entrance, giant flyover for pedestrians with wreckage and debris blocking the way, piles of destroyed shopping carts blocking the exit of the flyover.

Sorta like London outskirts, but way way worse.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:58 AM on November 28, 2008


> Wal-Mart is generally such a horrible place to shop that it really reinforces my decision to not shop there for ethical reasons.

I still have PTSD symptoms from the one time I shopped at the Dufferin Mall Wal-Mart in Toronto. It was the Christmas season, but there was no peace on earth or goodwill to all men to be found in that particular Circle Of Hell.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't get the mindset of someone who'd waste hours in the dark for a chance to wrestle crowds to save a few stupid bucks.

However, knowing what sort of turnout is expected, I would say that store owners are obligated to hire enough paid-duty police and security guards to effectively manage and organise the crowd, such as maintaining an orderly line, setup of zig-zag barricades, etc. So, I'd say Wal-Mart is liable.

If 50 hippies meet to protest somewhere, it seems there's never a shortage of armour-clad cops to manage that...
posted by Artful Codger at 10:01 AM on November 28, 2008 [14 favorites]


I got that it was supposed to be a joke, but I thought it callous. A more accurately pointed if still kind of lame joke title might have read, "So I knocked down a pregnant woman and trampled a clerk, but I totally got the last Wii".

Howard Stern does have his moments (the time he got Richard Simmons on the show by promising to go see Prince of Tides with him and then reneged was an unparallelled classic), but on the whole, no, I don't care much for his schtick.

I still have PTSD symptoms from the one time I shopped at the Dufferin Mall Wal-Mart in Toronto. It was the Christmas season, but there was no peace on earth or goodwill to all men to be found in that particular Circle Of Hell.

I live within walking distance of Dufferin Mall. That Wal-Mart is nowhere near as bad as the one at Jane and Black Creek Road. It's horrendous even on an ordinary weeknight. I can't imagine how awful it would be in Boxing week.
posted by orange swan at 10:07 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


My mom is a great mom. She miscarried once due to slipping and falling on ice people had warned her off of, and the staff at the hospital she went to blamed her for the miscarriage. They accused her of aborting the baby on purpose even as she was losing it. It would have been her first child. The nurse asked her why her legs were shaved, if she hadn't planned to come to the hospital today. Shaved legs are iron-clad proof of a intentional abortion staged as an accident, apparently. As if it wasn't enough that my mom lost a baby that day, for some reason they felt a need to strip her of her dignity as well.

I was born premature after she opened a window that was hard to open. She's kind of compulsive about certain things and there's no talking her out of them. Given the bazillion other risk factors she managed well, an inability to sit still and wait when there's something she wants to do or someplace she feels she needs to be really isn't all that bad. It certainly doesn't correlate to not being a good parent once the child is born. She did great.

I feel bad for the woman and hope she didn't miscarry.
posted by Tehanu at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's a painfully obvious joke that makes a mockery of the people who don't seem to care about anything but shopping.

Actually, no it doesn't. It's at the expense of someone who didn't say it and implies she got what she deserved for being a shallow and materialistic - on preview, what orange swan said.

Howard Stern does have his moments, but on the whole, no, I don't care much for his schtick.

I just find him boring and predictable. His fans even more so.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dufferin Mall on Mefi? Meet-up? Heh Heh I'm actually planning on stopping in there today, so glad there is no black Friday up here.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2008


> That Wal-Mart is nowhere near as bad as the one at Jane and Black Creek Road.

*shudders*
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2008


When the paramedics arrive, the only people who are in positions to stop and help are nurses and doctors. Everyone else should just stay out of the way. They may as well have been shopping. It's better than circling around the scene and just watching.

Yeah, you're right. I guess that makes it ok.
posted by chugg at 10:26 AM on November 28, 2008


That Wal-Mart is nowhere near as bad as the one at Jane and Black Creek Road.

Before some Torontonian loftily corrects me and accuses me of being a Toronto poseur who actually lives in Moose Jaw, that awful Wal-Mart I'm thinking of is at Lawrence and Black Creek Road.
posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM on November 28, 2008


Last night, in an ultimately futile search to find a Chinese restaurant open on Thanksgiving, I happened to drive through the parking lot of a Best Buy. There were people camped on the sidewalk. There were pup tents set up. The line stretched around the corner of the building.

It was 7:45 PM.

People have lost their fucking minds.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:33 AM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?
posted by giraffe


Oh, sure, because giraffes are so much better.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:38 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I haven't heard much about Buy Nothing Day this year."

If you've been paying attention to the financial markets, you've realized that Buy Nothing Day is pretty much every day this year.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 10:39 AM on November 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


hey yellowbinder, while you are there, can you see if they still have Father Christmas instead of a Mall Santa? I'd risk that mall for another photo with him, he looks so cool.
posted by saucysault at 10:39 AM on November 28, 2008


He died for our freedoms.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:41 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


He died for our freedoms.

The same freedoms they hate us for.
posted by RussHy at 10:43 AM on November 28, 2008


Heh, I'll check, they do have a Christmas photo set up, looks the same as last year. How does one know the difference between a Father Christmas, a Mall Santa, and, just throwing this in there, an Annual Gift Man?

Walmart does have strange gyrating robot Santas set up at the mall entrance though. They scare me.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2008


A little unexpected irony in the placement of headlines on Google News... next to the headline "Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled" I see:

Black Friday shoppers out in force, but cautious

Yeah. Cautious like hell.
posted by weston at 10:49 AM on November 28, 2008


if it doesn't occur to you that Wal-Mart on black Friday is maybe not the best place for your unborn child, maybe you're not ready to be a parent

Hey, uncleozzy, that's pretty unfair. I know your beef is with the Wal-Mart rioters and not with pregnant ladies who dare to go outside, but I don't think calculating the chances one could expect to get trampled while shopping is an effective measure of being ready to raise a child. I hope you're not going to suggest next that if pregnant women board a plane or, god forbid, a car, that they're not ready to have a child.
posted by theefixedstars at 10:51 AM on November 28, 2008


>>It's a painfully obvious joke that makes a mockery of the people who don't seem to care about anything but shopping.

Actually, no it doesn't. It's at the expense of someone who didn't say it and implies she got what she deserved for being a shallow and materialistic - on preview, what orange swan said.

Another title disliker here.
I don't generally mind poor taste, but it was also such a bloody snobbish choice of words.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2008


I don't think calculating the chances one could expect to get trampled while shopping is an effective measure of being ready to raise a child

Read the rest of the thread: my comments, as well as others'. Calling what one does at Wal-Mart at 5am on black Friday "shopping" is a little like calling armed revolution "voting."
posted by uncleozzy at 11:03 AM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


i have the same idea for pregnant women shopping at box stores on black friday as i do for parents of small children headed for the french quarter on mardi gras day: what're'ya? nuts? a (potential) miscarriage is a harsh price to pay, but this is not the first year someone's gotten trampled & killed shopping for bargains the day after thanksgiving.

just found this on a message board i sometimes read, which shows that neither unsportsmanlike shopping or idiocy are confined to long island:

Be thankful that you do not live or shop in Cleveland today, that is all I can say.... Fist fights in the Walmart, line cutting at Target and the checkout at Kohl's took almost an hour. I'm not complaining really, you have to expect it on a day like today. I love shopping early on Black Friday, people are generally in a great mood (except the 2 women fist fighting in the electronics dept at Walmart) and it just kicks it all off for me!

posted by msconduct at 11:05 AM on November 28, 2008


(Not that I really want to be an a-hole about it. Everybody makes bad decisions sometimes; this one might happen to have devastating consequences. Which sucks.)
posted by uncleozzy at 11:06 AM on November 28, 2008


Don't these people know that the best Black Friday sales are online? I just did most of my holiday shopping with a nice warm cup of cocoa in my hands and a comfy blanket over my feet, all while alternating between the What Not To Wear marathon on TLC and the Mork and Mindy marathon on SciFi. I've had a list of specific things I've wanted to buy for friends and for myself, and by using coupon sites and Black Friday sales on the internet, I paid $800 for everything on my list--a list that would have cost me nearly $2,500 otherwise.

Why would you want to camp out all night with a bunch of other crazy people just to spend money on something that will bring you only fleeting happiness now? Save that for the Watchmen premiere.
posted by tzikeh at 11:07 AM on November 28, 2008


The stores are manipulating the situation. They are lowering a price as a gambit, in order to generate rumors of a shortage before a looming deadline. This raises demand, and prices, for anything that's left in the massive warehouses.
posted by Brian B. at 11:09 AM on November 28, 2008


I didn't know orange swan was from Moose Jaw. I learn something new every day here on Mefi
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2008


The stores expect and encourage this behaviour by allowing people to lineup and rush in at a certain time. I've seen some try to prevent the early morning rush by doing timed sales throughout the day, or even handing out tickets to people in line so theres no need to run to the back of the store.

Canada has similar sales on Boxing Day (day after Christmas is a holiday) but after seeing how low electronics pricing already is, and that our economy isn't quite so bad as in the States perhaps the sales won't be as crazy this year - they seem to be not as popular in the last few years.
posted by jeffmik at 11:19 AM on November 28, 2008


Uncleozzy,

I had in fact read the rest of your comment and all other comments. I'm not sure what you think I missed. I still think that what you said is unfair, as I refuse to believe that everyone who happens to shop today, even if they stood in line all night, would find that the risks of being trampled were higher than, say, being a passenger in an automobile. While I understand your sentiment, and do believe that you are not an a-hole, it irritates me when people load extra moral judgment on pregnant women -- not for smoking or drinking or going skydiving, but for things like walking under ladders or jaywalking. I know you will probably say going to WalMart today fits into the skydiving category and not the jaywalking one, but given the number of people who have been hurt today in shopping malls versus the number of people who are injured in car accidents on this or a more normal Friday, I say, come on.
posted by theefixedstars at 11:23 AM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?
posted by giraffe

Oh, sure, because giraffes are so much better.


Hey, hey... This issue can only be settled by re-assigning as Zardalu and feeding everyone else to our snapping, slithering brood. After that, we'll go have some pizza and margaritas -- what do you say?
posted by Kikkoman at 11:30 AM on November 28, 2008


anyone know where jonmc works?

I believe it's the Strand book store. He's got a million stories of the people who come in selling books.
posted by hellojed at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2008


“If you fall down in fucking mosh pit people will stop to pick you up.”

Point. Bizarre how that works. I have to agree that not everyone is in a position to be able to help...
But the difference in mindset is staggering.
I mean, when I used to get into a (old school) mosh pit my blood went up, I’M HERE TO HURT SOMEBODY! YEAH! *slam* oh, I’m sorry, you ok? Yeah? Ok, you’re good? Ok. YEAH!
*slam*

This time of year, in contrast, we’re supposed to be of the mindset of love and charity. Peace on Earth, Our Precious Earth (and fluids) all that.
Hell, I don’t even like to drive today.

Ironic people who supposedly deplore violence will roll anyone to save an extra nickel on some plastic gizmo.
I mean who buys something they really need - today?
(certainly exceptions, but most likely someone living hand to mouth isn’t going to be at Best Buy just now).
And people wonder why I own firearms.

These fuckers scare the hell out of me.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2008


There were people camped at a local Best Buy Wednesday night. Which means they spent all of Thanksgiving in line, until 5AM today. Its like an arms race - there were people camped out before they even closed Wednesday night.
posted by SirOmega at 11:42 AM on November 28, 2008


I'm very glad I have all my Christmas shopping done, though I still have three presents that I am making that are unfinished. I can't bear shopping in December.
posted by orange swan at 11:51 AM on November 28, 2008


Personally, I don't get why the stores don't hand out line numbers or do something else that would make the situation safer.
posted by drezdn at 12:02 PM on November 28, 2008


They will once it affects their liability and thus their bottom line.
posted by orange swan at 12:03 PM on November 28, 2008


It's the callousness of it that gets to me. Sure, we all like a bargain, but this is Pavlovian. Nothing else matters.

And as an aside, and as someone who has lived in places with fairly boring names (except one, Troon which is from the Gaelic for nose) I love that there is a place called Moose Jaw.
posted by jackiemcghee at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


There were people camped at a local Best Buy Wednesday night. Which means they spent all of Thanksgiving in line, until 5AM today.

To be fair, people usually take turns in line. It tends to be a family or group of friends, and they all show up 30 minutes before the store actually happens.

I've done the BF thing a number of times, and it's not always about the sales, but rather this weird interest in the whole affair. Going out with friends and partaking in the day is actually fun for some of us.
posted by jmd82 at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2008


Moose Jaw is nothing. We've got tons more in Canada, from Medicine Hat to Dildo, Newfoundland.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2008


It's a long slog from Dildo to Climax.

"If you liked Moose Jaw, you'll love Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:14 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hundreds, if not thousands, of my fellow Mexicans made the 2:30 hour drive (from Monterrey, plus the undetermined amount of time at the international bridge) last night to Laredo/McAllen, TX in order to pick up a bargain or two.

I would link to the story, but it is in Spanish and subscription only. Of course, this happens every year, yet it never fails to amaze me.

Instead, here's a nice informative article on cross -border international shopping.

Border Retailers Hope for Feliz Navidad!
posted by elmono at 12:18 PM on November 28, 2008


TheOnlyCoolTim : If you fall down in fucking mosh pit people will stop to pick you up.

As a rule, I avoid all stores on Black Friday, but this actually gave me a great idea. I want to get a bunch of my old moshing friends together and position ourselves throughout a store opening mob, and as soon as the gates go up, we all start a pit.

At the very least, we could ensure that anyone who went down were afforded some effort to be protected, and kind of like an unregulated Indian intersection, there would be so much chaos going on that people trying to get into the store would actually be even more mindful not to get in the way.

If this works, I'll be selling my services to all the larger store openings in the future.
posted by quin at 12:56 PM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing I love about my significant other: she prefers cold, hard cash to any other present, so while everyone else is trampling each other, all I need to do is hit the ATM machine on Christmas Eve. Then again, she's Jewish, and doesn't get into the whole Christmas thing (and I'm agnostic so I don't either), and she's always happy *whenever* I hand her a wad of cash, whether it's Christmas or not. Heh.
posted by jamstigator at 1:04 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


. . . given the number of people who have been hurt today in shopping malls versus the number of people who are injured in car accidents on this or a more normal Friday, I say, come on.

Sorry, but this sort of thing drives me nuts. I daresay far more people got into a car today than shopped at a mall or the like. To get an accurate depiction of the danger of an activity, one has to compare the percentage of those injured while shopping to the percentage of those injured while in a car. Ten people partake in Activity A, and 2 are injured; a hundred do Activity B, in which four are injured. Yes, more people were injured by B, but A is the more dangerous percentagewise.

One person died at the Wal-Mart; how many of the workers and shoppers were killed driving home from the store?
posted by theroadahead at 1:10 PM on November 28, 2008


yellowbinder, Father Christmas has a jewel tone velvet cape, often with brown fur and a wooden walking stick. Mall Santa has the bright red and white outfit made of polyester. Father Christmas is European, Mall Santa is American. Dufferin Mall is the only place I have seen in the GTA with Father Christmas (although I haven't been there for a few years).
posted by saucysault at 1:15 PM on November 28, 2008


...like an unregulated Indian intersection...

You make it sound like there's the regulated kind as well.
posted by i_cola at 1:25 PM on November 28, 2008


To be fair, people usually take turns in line. It tends to be a family or group of friends, and they all show up 30 minutes before the store actually happens.

Well that seems like a load of BS - 1 or 2 people wait in line at a time in shifts until 5AM, then 5 or 6 people show up and they all get doorbusters? I'd be pretty angry if I was behind you in line.
posted by SirOmega at 1:27 PM on November 28, 2008


I did Black Friday at Fry's this morning, because a friend of a friend wants a faster computer and I could save about $200 in parts costs by taking advantage of the loss leaders they were promoting.

It was very civil, as usual. When I got there at about midnight, the line probably had maybe a thousand people in it, and they let us in in groups around 5 AM so there wouldn't be a stampede. Despite being closer towards the back of the line, I got the parts I wanted without any problems.

I don't understand why all the stores don't take the same ordered approach.
posted by thalakan at 1:32 PM on November 28, 2008


Well that seems like a load of BS - 1 or 2 people wait in line at a time in shifts until 5AM, then 5 or 6 people show up and they all get doorbusters? I'd be pretty angry if I was behind you in line.

That was how it worked at Fry's this morning, and it didn't bother me too much, nor anyone else I think. I did see a few groups stock up on the crazy awesome deals that were supposed to be one per person, but it's not like those extra people represented a significant chance of me not getting the parts I wanted.
posted by thalakan at 1:35 PM on November 28, 2008


But will there be crowdsurfing, quin? I don't want to be in your revolution if there will be no crowdsurfing.
posted by hattifattener at 1:36 PM on November 28, 2008


So, are we ready for a re-make of Dawn of the Dead set on Black Friday or whatever?
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Before some Torontonian loftily corrects me and accuses me of being a Toronto poseur who actually lives in Moose Jaw, that awful Wal-Mart I'm thinking of is at Lawrence and Black Creek Road.
posted by orange swan at 1:31 PM on November 28 [+] [!]


If you need to go to Wal-Mart, the one at Islington and Rexdale is always empty everytime I've been there. Not far from Lawrence & Black Creek if you are driving - and if you are not driving, it's easier to get to by TTC (Islington has a fast, really reliable bus - better than the Lawrence).

But aside from Toronto shopping advice -

This is disgusting and crazy. I don't like to go all outrage-filter - but a man has died today. Sure, it's nothing compared to the tragedy of Mumbai, or the Congo or violence all over the world. But at least that is fighting about religion or mineral resources or defending your homes or something serious. This man died for no reason. He died because a store didn't have proper crowd control - and because crowds wanted sales. How can any sale be worth this man's life?

Instead of arguing about the pregnant woman (who, according to the latest up dates on the links, is under observation but thankfully has not lost her baby) - why can't we argue about how this should never happen? Can the company be charged or sued for not providing a safe working environment? Can the shoppers be socially vilified for trampling a man to death? How can they look themselves in the mirror knowing that one of their feet might have contributed?

And again, I don't like to vilify people or turn them into monsters - truth is, I kind of understand the thinking behind the attackers in Mumbai or the fighters in the Congo - but I don't understand this.
posted by jb at 1:53 PM on November 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Two Killed Inside Toys-R-Us After Shooting.
posted by theroadahead at 1:56 PM on November 28, 2008


you'll love Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Weird, I was watching a History Channel show today, and heard of Head Smashed In for the first time. Now it comes up again. Next, I'll have to find a plate of jumbo shrimp.
posted by drezdn at 2:04 PM on November 28, 2008


i don't really think it's about a sale. you wanna save some money then you go to sites like consumerist, retail me not, etc and make it an everday discipline. we're a bunch of fucking monkeys that haven't made it nearly as far from the trees as we think. people just want the thrill of it and with that kind of crowd mentality it gives a good excuse to turn of the brain and root around in shit.
posted by andywolf at 2:06 PM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


There's no point in looking for an explanation, drezdn. It's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness.
posted by quin at 2:20 PM on November 28, 2008


So I drive to Lowe's with the kids today, but there's no parking and the line into the parking lot goes back into the main drive, so I decide the kid's playroom can be messy for another week, I'll pick up some shelves later, because come on, a hardware store needs to be mobbed?

Also today, on my nice quiet side street, a neighbor's dogs get loose just as we pull up, and we sit and throw the car in park (and eventually I get out to help.) Meanwhile, another neighbor coming the other way can't be bothered to wait until they collar the dogs, and starts honking, driving the dogs into extra-bonus frenzy -- and the moment there's a path between the two dogs, she drives through it (luckily hitting nothing.)

Black Friday at a retail outlet, or on a quiet street: rude, impatient people suck no matter where or when.
posted by davejay at 2:27 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh. This title really is embarassing.
posted by agregoli at 2:36 PM on November 28, 2008


It's a long slog from Dildo to Climax.

You could have gotten to Climax in half the time, if you'd taken the Climax exit on I-94 in Michigan on your route.
posted by glycolized at 2:56 PM on November 28, 2008


Most importantly, I thought the plural of "elk" was "elk," not "elks."
posted by maxwelton at 2:59 PM on November 28, 2008


I'm gonna step up and defend the title of this post. It's hilarious. Lighten up everyone, it's Christmas! I mean, a women killed herself holding her own urine for a Wii, so it's not really far off is it?
posted by ChickenringNYC at 2:59 PM on November 28, 2008


There's no point in looking for an explanation, drezdn

exactly, for awhile I was getting pretty annoyed with the disappearance of common courtesy. i was constantly wondering aloud how people can look you straight in the face when you hold a door open for them and walk right on by. Or when you almost run into each other and you say "pardon me" they don't even blink. Until my lady said, "maybe they just don't care." I don't get that at all, but it's probably as simple and mind bending as that, if an explanation exists at all. i still exude courtesy but gave up caring or wondering why no one else does.
posted by andywolf at 3:01 PM on November 28, 2008


Having walked to that store, it's the area.

It's like a fucking warzone. Dystopian future, huge highways, 30 foot security walls with a neighborhood behind it with portcullis and an "airlock" style entrance, giant flyover for pedestrians with wreckage and debris blocking the way, piles of destroyed shopping carts blocking the exit of the flyover.

Sorta like London outskirts, but way way worse.


Hey! Watch it, I grew up there!
posted by crabintheocean at 3:16 PM on November 28, 2008


Ugh. This title really is embarassing.

At least it didn't give birth to a cutesy web 2.0 word like "crowd-bortion".
posted by dr_dank at 3:21 PM on November 28, 2008


I'm merely suggesting that driving is a risky activity, as you yourself point out. But no one (hopefully) questions whether or not pregnant women should drive/be passengers in cars based on the risk of death or injury inherent in that activity.

But yes, that a man who was only doing his job got trampled today is pretty sickening, and stands as a pretty striking indictment of our values...or at least the dangers of a mob. I wonder if the people involved stopped to think about what had happened. I bet WalMart tried as hard as possible to make them forget.
posted by theefixedstars at 3:27 PM on November 28, 2008


Sure, we all like a bargain, but this is Pavlovian.

the really dumb thing about that is that the real bargains come after xmas - especially this year

---

You could have gotten to Climax in half the time, if you'd taken the Climax exit on I-94 in Michigan on your route.

sorry, but this time of year it's frigid
posted by pyramid termite at 3:50 PM on November 28, 2008


(it's also a really dull, sleepy bedroom community/farm town which curiously enough, does have a recording studio - and if you push the pedal too fast, you run the risk of coppus interuptus, as the kalamazoo county sheriff's deputy IS watching - 25 or else)
posted by pyramid termite at 3:56 PM on November 28, 2008


saucysault... sorry, mall Santa. Guess that means no Dufferin Mall meet up to have our pictures taken with Father Christmas.
posted by yellowbinder at 4:21 PM on November 28, 2008


I wasn't gunning for you, theefixedstars, and hope it didn't come off like that. I just get a little nuts about stats and the like, as I said.

But no one (hopefully) questions whether or not pregnant women should drive/be passengers in cars based on the risk of death or injury inherent in that activity.


I agree wholeheartedly.
posted by theroadahead at 6:22 PM on November 28, 2008


Speaking of guns, North and South Carolina are offering tax-free sales of rifles, shotguns, and handguns on Black Friday and Saturday. A teevee newscaster claims gunshop owners have titled the sale, "Second Amendment Special." Meanwhile in California, handguns were used to kill two at a Black Friday Toys "R" Us sale.
posted by terranova at 6:57 PM on November 28, 2008


If 50 hippies meet to protest somewhere, it seems there's never a shortage of armour-clad cops to manage that...

As a hippie, I am willing to band together with 49 of my bretheren or sisteren outside the Wal-Mart of their choosing on Black Friday to provide proper security for this foolishness. And to protest because the crap you get at Wal-Mart is truly tasteless and your loved ones deserve better gifts.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


"And again, I don't like to vilify people or turn them into monsters - truth is, I kind of understand the thinking behind the attackers in Mumbai or the fighters in the Congo - but I don't understand this"

I understand both. Terrorists at least have an agenda. This, this is who people are. I don't want to say "underneath" because that implies that this type of thing is more genuine. It isn't.
There is a great deal of self-sacrifice and goodness in people as well.
But folks, in crowds especially, are like fire. S'how genocides happen.
I was being tongue in cheek about the firearms, but seriously, I'd rather someone take a close personal interest in killing me because they hate my guts, and do it deliberately, than have something like this happen and everyone look around like "whut? me?"

(To be fair to the species - elk are pretty ill tempered. Shrews and other creatures hunt and kill just for pleasure. Jaguars? Hardest creature to hunt in the world. Not because they're big, fast, etc. But they're crazy as hell murderous if you screw with them. There's a story about a hunter that wounded one out in the middle of the jungle. Lost the track. Three days later he was found dead in his apartment in the middle of the city. The Jaguar he shot hunted him down and killed him. Ok, s'about as bad as us.)
posted by Smedleyman at 8:12 PM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel bad for people who work on holidays, or who have to get up and be at work the next day at 4, so stores can open at 5. Black Friday is a way to turn a holiday into a marketing opportunity. It's not enough that Christmas is totally commercial, now Thanksgiving is, too. It's terribly sad that a retail worker was killed on the job. So a bunch of jerks could save 300 on a big tv.
posted by theora55 at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2008


"Items on sale at the Wal-Mart store included a $798 Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV"

$798 for a 50-inch Samsung? That's almost worth trampling somebody for.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:56 PM on November 28, 2008


If only these people had listened to Prince Charles.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:01 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by mazola at 11:51 PM on November 28, 2008


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?

There's more than one kind of human. Just pretend those ones aren't related to us. That's what I've been doing for 8 years.
posted by Xezlec at 12:20 AM on November 29, 2008


For want of a bird
The sky was lost
For want of a nail
A shoe was lost
For want of a life
A life was lost
For want of a toy
A child was lost.

Misery's the river of the world.

Everybody row.
posted by brevator at 4:00 PM on November 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Murd"Я"Us
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:56 PM on November 29, 2008


The type of people who show up at Wal-Mart when it's about to open on Black Friday are really the lowest of the low, in terms of genes, are they not? What kind of loser would really be at the doors ready to rush into the store? And since anyone in their right mind knows there is going to be a stampede, it's kind of hard to get really exercised about this, as sad as anyone's accidental death is.

It's like finding out someone got gored at the running of the bulls. Sad, yes ... but shit, you were at the running of the bulls.
posted by jayder at 9:44 PM on November 29, 2008


I don't know why Wal-Mart doesn't follow the sensible route and hand out fucking tickets to people. You have 25 TVs? Well, make up 25 numbered tickets of some sort and go down the line until you're out of tickets. Then tell people coming for the TV to fuck off. Plus, this lets liner-uppers leave the line and return at their liesure, if they hold the TVs for an hour after open for them.

This is what we did at my Target for both Wii and PS3 launches.

Note: Wal-Mart will never do this. They want the crush of people. That is why the company itself should be held responsible for the man's death, and forced to pay above and beyond whatever shitty insurance policy the poor guy had.

Or just maintain an orderly fucking line. That would require them to have the good deals on pallets at the front of the store, which, again, they would not do. So fuck Wal-Mart.
posted by graventy at 8:30 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


At least nobody will die on Cyber Monday from a stampede of crazy shoppers. I did my black friday shopping online this year and got a memory foam mattress topper for $40. My life is awesome.
posted by martinc6 at 10:35 PM on November 30, 2008


We could fix a lot of things if when the doors opened and the people rushed in, poison gas came out of the vents.
posted by Eideteker at 12:55 AM on December 1, 2008


I love that there is a place called Moose Jaw.

It was named after a former Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney.;-)
posted by orange swan at 5:15 AM on December 1, 2008


“The type of people who show up at Wal-Mart when it's about to open on Black Friday are really the lowest of the low, in terms of genes, are they not?”

Well, I wouldn’t want to not claim them as humanity. I mean, they’re still people.

Just misguided. It’s easy to forget what you want is not equal to what you need.
I mean, you manipulate someone’s sex drive, you’ve pretty much got all their attention. You stop, they’re going to pretty much run over their own mothers to get satisfaction.

Think about it, would anyone stick a dried leaf in their mouth and set fire to it and inhale the smoke (which we’ve known for a long long long time kills you - not just cancer, but being in a smokey fire) if they were always rational?

I can’t blame people. People are just hardware. It’s the software - the malware, I’d say - that other folks install on them that sucks.
I doubt you would lie to someone to sucker them out of money, but many people would. And that’s part of it too.

That’s why there’s no such thing as ‘a little bit’ off the path of honesty and integrity.
Has to be in every little thing you do, not grand gestures or only when it seems to count.

Where does the responsibility lie for this? Well, ultimately, many little decisions about wanting a bigger house or a nicer car or more of this and that and so you look to enflame other folks’ desire and those folks too want more of this or that and allow their desire to be enflamed and so someone is killed.
Just for that little bitty thing. That little bit ‘extra’ you or him or the other guy wanted.

That’s our enemy, man. The folks in the stores are just carriers. They bleed like you or me.
They are not, as you point out, in their right minds.
The job is to put them back.
If it were as simple as eliminating the losers or the people who exploit them in the world, I’d’ve taken care of that a long time ago.
Unfortunately the real work, the lasting change, takes a lot more effort, thought and attention.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:17 PM on December 1, 2008


To be fair, people usually take turns in line. It tends to be a family or group of friends, and they all show up 30 minutes before the store actually happens.

Still, this means someone's out waiting in a line in the cold while the rest of the family is having Thanksgiving dinner together. I wonder how they decide whose job that is.

(Saw people lining up outside my local Best Buy on Thanksgiving morning. Thought it was pretty sad.)
posted by naoko at 5:58 PM on December 2, 2008


The more I think about humanity, the more I want to identify as an elk or something. Is it possible to get species reassignment surgery?

i've done some research into this for you and i think a pint of krazy glue and a pair of elk horns is probably your most affordable solution - don't forget to shave your head first
posted by pyramid termite at 12:50 AM on December 3, 2008


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